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USF Is a Weaker Team Without Bonani

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJuly 20, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Kicker Maikon Bonani #28 of the University of South Florida Bulls celebrates a last-second, 43-yard field goal against the Kansas University Jayhawks at Raymond James Stadium on September 12, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It was simply USF's most memorable win last season.

Tied at 34-all with Kansas, freshman Maikon Bonani from the citrus town of Lake Wales, said hello to USF Nation when he hit the game-winning kick, providing the 37-34 victory for the Bulls.

He was an instant hit.  He's personable, likable, and has proven himself in the clutch.

With its 2009 schedule, USF can count on being in a lot of close games.

USF's best hope in those close games is in a hospital bed at Tampa General Hospital.

By now everyone knows the details, they know how Bonani fell 35 feet from a cable car on the Skyride at Busch Gardens.  The fall cracked his T12 vertebra.  He is fortunate that was the extent of his injuries.

The question now surfaces:  

Will Jim Leavitt and the Bulls be without Bonani this season?

It is certainly a possibility.

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It's not a scenario that USF and its fans want to contemplate.  That's because without Bonani, USF is a weaker football team.

USF would be a weaker team in close ball games.

If Bonani misses the season, the kicking duties could revert to senior Delbert Alvarado, the man who Bonani replaced as the field goal kicker.

This entire scenario has time to develop.  Best case is that Bonani recovers fully and quickly and joins the team for this 2009 campaign.

Worst case?

It's not something USF wants to think about right now.